This blog post is to provide an update on the work that has been undertaken over this academic year to raise awareness of the need to create digitally accessible content. The aim is to support staff to develop the skills required and helping them to make simple changes to their practice that will result in more accessible resources to enable all our learners to take part in their learning without having any barriers in their place.
Visits to academic units
33 presentations to academic units have either taken place, or are scheduled to take place in the 2019-20 academic year. The reception from staff to the information in the presentation has been extremely positive with colleagues keen to find out how they can engage with the work to improve accessibility for all. The team are very happy to present at all appropriate forums so if we haven’t visited your area, please get in touch with LTDS and we can arrange this.
Accessibility in Practice Workshop
The “Accessibility in Practice” workshops ran in academic units, and centrally and is always well received. In this workshop we focus on quick wins to create accessible documents. We support staff to use accessibility checkers on documents and, they experience how learners adapt and work with digital content. We explore how SensusAccess can empower students and staff to make the inaccessible accessible. This is a hands-on workshop, staff will take away ideas, check-lists and tools that support inclusive practices. Feedback from staff to the session include:
- “Great for someone new to the topic but also still valuable to someone who is aware of the basics.”
- “Super practical. Learnt about loads of features I had no idea about.”
- “I enjoyed learning about the resources available within Newcastle University and on software such as Office 365, an often ignored topic in teaching training I’ve attended in the past”
Accessibility and Inclusion on the Digital Learning website
An accessibility and inclusion section has been added to the Digital Learning Website that highlights how inclusive teaching practices can support all learners, not just those with particular learning requirements. The site covers the requirements and deadlines from the most recent accessibility regulations, the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
There are useful links to many of the resources across the University that will help you make your content more accessible including updated NUIT Guidance, and SensusAccess. Further resources relating to the University approach to accessibility and inclusion are available, including a screencast of the presentation we have been providing to academic units.